Before yesterday and yesterday. I sat for long hours and now my back hurts me. However, I have a running schedule I must follow. Can I run ? or running would makes it worse ?

3 Answers 3


Generally speaking, back pain that occurs due to sitting is linked to either tight hip flexors, tight thoracic spine or both. The best way to remedy these is by going through some mobility drill during your warm. An example would be doing some thoracic rotations for your tight upper back, and some hip flexor stretches for your tight hips.

I would also adivse you to do some core activation exercises during your warm up. This can be achieveed by doing a 30 second plank.

The reason for this is that when your hips get tight, your core becomes more mobile than it should in order to pick up the slack of the tight hips, so be simply doing the hip stretch you still wont tighten the core, and this can lead to tight hips.

In short, yes you can and should run, but not without going through a good warm up.

For a more in depth explanation on this approach known as the joint by joint approach, click on this link.

  • 2
    I think stretching is great advice May 29, 2014 at 20:37
  • Sorry to down vote your answer, but it sounds as if you are diagnosing the cause of his back pain and then prescribing a solution. May 30, 2014 at 23:00
  • Actually it is pretty much what he had stated himself in the question. He said he was siting a lot and as a result got back pain. May 30, 2014 at 23:55
  • @used, yes he said he got back pain after 2 days of prolonged sitting if I understand correctly. He (or she) did not say that he/she has tight hip flexors or a tight thoracic spine. Those are assumptions you made. Whether or not a lot of other people get tight hip flexors and a tight T spine from prolonged sitting is not the point when recommending a specific exercise to someone with a specific pain condition. The thoracic rotation exercise and/or running may aggravate the symptoms depending on the actual dysfunction. That is why it is in the medical advice realm and off topic imo. May 31, 2014 at 12:09

I would start with stretching as @usedtobefat suggested, then I'd try swimming. This should help loosen everything up, then hopefully you should be good to run.

I'd try swimming over running as its non weight bearing, and there is no jaring, so hopefully will be kinder so a sore back.

Don't get caught up in, "it's on the schedule I have to do it". Listen to your body, and hopefully you'll be back to running in no time.


My personal experience is that running actually helps a lot to reduce back pain. I've experienced this on multiple occasions, so it's probably not some fluke effect. I suspect that what is going on here is that when you are running, your brain has a large degree of freedom in how it controls the muscles in your back (for balance etc.). While your focus is on where you are heading what pace want to run, the brain is going to implement that by controlling a large number of muscles that you are not consciously aware of. The brain can then take into account the new pain signals from your back and find a workaround way to control the motion of your back. But you may not even consciously feel much back pain when running.

When you are done running, you will notice that your back hurts a lot less, simply because whenever you move, your back muscles are controlled differently now.

  • 1
    This is a highly personal answer, and most likely only applicable to a small segment of the population. Also, the "theory" on the muscle control from the brain is wild conjecture and a poor understanding of nerve enervation in skeletal muscle.
    – JohnP
    May 29, 2014 at 14:22
  • That's why I started my answer with "My personal experience is..." and I started to explain my idea why I think this is so by writing "I suspect that what is going on here...". So, I made it very clear that these are my personal ideas. I think it ios debatable that this is "wild speculation", because you do adapt the way you move when in pain and most of that happens subconsciously. May 29, 2014 at 21:29
  • Adapting a way to move when in pain is ultimately the same thing as compensating to avoid the pain. As we know compensation leads to injury, so the correct thing would be to not run until the issue is addressed. May 29, 2014 at 22:51
  • Yes, but we're talking about minor back pain here. In that case it are the normal activities like having to get out of bed in the morning that is going to force you to try to move in a different way anyway. In contrast, running does not strain the back, your back is going to be moved differently but that's not going to transfer any significant loads elsewhere. May 29, 2014 at 23:30
  • You are very right, even getting out of bed with back pain can force a person into a compensation. If left untreated long enough that too can lead to injury. I really recommend that you look into Grey Cook's work with the FMS. May 29, 2014 at 23:53

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